Deep frying one bad movie after another.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Zombie Death House
Zombie Death House (1987)
Studio: Double Helix Films – AIP Home Video
DVD Release Date: 2004
Directed By: John Saxton
Cast: Dennis Cole, Anthony Franciosa, John Saxton
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Not many people know this about me but for a brief time I worked in a prison. Besides watching horror movies I love watching prison movies such as Caged Heat, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, I must say however Zombie Death House is as close to a real prison as I have seen to date. Where to begin, with a title such as Zombie Death House I knew I was not going to be sitting through the next Citizen Kane, I was however pleasantly surprised. This movie is at times very slow and like most 80s “action” movies relies heavily on stock film and sound effects but the plot is there and it is fairly well acted. Speaking of the title, this movie was credited on its first release as “Death House” the Zombie was added for the DVD release.
The movie opens with our main character Derek (Cole) who just returned from working as a member of the special forces and like most veterans who have been trained only to kill he finds it difficult to find a job. This problem is solved when he is offered the job of driving the towns mafia boss Vic Moretti (Franciosa) and his wife around town, where one applies for this position I don’t know but if you put schematics aside it moves the plot along. It isn’t long before Derek sticks his hand in the cookie jar and the boss’ wife starts banging him on a regular basis. Needless to say when Moretti finds out his is beyond pissed. In true mafia fashion Moretti kills his wife and frames Derek for murder sending him to the Township State Penitentiary’s death row. All of this happens in about 14 minutes with three really tasteful artistic boob shots, and 3 exploding cars and a car chase that lasts all of 15 seconds.
When Derek gets to prison he learns that the inmates on death row are being injected with some type of virus given by the CIA to help control anger issues. After the CIA’s agent in charge Colonel Burgess (Saxton) concocts a new more potent virus it is injected into two inmates which sets off a chain reaction which causes the inmates to start turning into “zombies”. The next hour is then spent trying to escape prison without being infected, killed or shot by the US Army which has the prison surrounded.
So let us get everything straight. This is a 80s movie with: CIA, Prison, Mafia and Boobs what more could anyone ask for? Make-up and special effects would have been nice, but with the dark camera lighting I don’t really think it would matter. This movie to its credit does not take itself too serious and appears to be John Saxton trying to make a horror movie for fans. This is the proper way to do a low budget horror movie. No zany one liners in this movie just action from about the 12 minute mark until the very end. This movie will not make you laugh, it will not make you cry but it will entertain the hell out of you for 90 minutes what more could you ask for?
All in all I can’t rate this movie above a 4 simply due to it being so low budget along with the fact that the special effects just are not there to warrant such a “perfect” rating. Not sure what is on the DVD as this was an online rental, but I am going to purchase it anyways due to the fact of the movie being so good something that doesn’t happen very often. It is worth a view.